Must Global Politics Constrain Democracy?: Great-Power Realism, Democratic Peace, and Democratic Internationalism

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As each power vies for its national interests on the world stage, how do its own citizens' democratic interests fare at home? Alan Gilbert speaks to an issue at the heart of current international-relations debate. He contends that, in spite of neo-realists' assumptions, a vocal citizen democracy can and must have a role in global politics. Further, he shows that all the major versions of realism and neo-realism, if properly stated with a view of the national interest as a common good, surprisingly lead to democracy. His most striking example focuses on realist criticisms of the Vietnam War.

Democratic internationalism, as Gilbert terms it, is really the linking of citizens' interests across national boundaries to overcome the antidemocratic actions of their own governments. Realist misinterpretations have overlooked Thucydides' theme about how a democracy corrupts itself through imperial expansion as well as Karl Marx's observations about the positive effects of democratic movements in one country on events in others. Gilbert also explodes the democratic peace myth that democratic states do not wage war on one another. He suggests instead policies to accord with the interests of ordinary citizens whose shared bond is a desire for peace.

Gilbert shows, through such successes as recent treaties on land mines and policies to slow global warming that citizen movements can have salutary effects. His theory of "deliberative democracy" proposes institutional changes that would give the voice of ordinary citizens a greater influence on the international actions of their own government.

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What People Are Saying

Gilbert's volume is a refreshingly original and provocative work that will receive a good deal of attention in both the United States and Europe.
George W. Downs, Princeton University
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691001821
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 8/16/1999
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xv
Introduction Power Politics, Antiradical Ideology, and the Constriction of Democracy 3
1. Realism, Democratic Peace, and Democratic Internationalism 3
2. The Ancient Critique of Pride and Modern Democratic Internationalism 12
3. The Trajectory of the Argument 15
Table 1: How Realism Leads to Democracy 21
Chapter One Must Global Politics Constrain Democracy? 25
1. A Neglected Theoretical Debate 26
2. The Kinship of Official Realism and Dependency 32
3. Is Krasner's "National Interest" Defensible? 34
4. Sophisticated Neorealism versus Democratic Internationalism 41
S. Gilpin's Restoration of Great-Power Rivalry 44
6. Keobane's Liberalism: Are Contemporary Regimes Cooperative? 49
7. An Internal, Doyle-Keohane Version of the Democratic-Peace Hypothesis 54
8. Internationalism, Feminism, and Postmodernism versus Predatory Realism 57
9. Democracy as an Anomaly for Realism 58
Table 2: A Modification of Table 1: Neorealism versus Democratic Internationalism 61
Table 3: A Keobane-Doyle Version of the Democratic-Peace Hypothesis, Realism, and Democratic Internationalism from Below 64
Chapter Two Crossing of the Ways: The Vietnam War and Realism in Morgenthau, Niebuhr, and Kennan 66
1. Forgetfulness about Morgenthau 66
2. How to Extract Kissinger from Morgenthau 69
3. Ethical Contradictions about "Power" 73
4. A Realism Consistent with Morgenthau's Stand on Vietnam 76
S. Democratic Criticism, Oligarchic Persecution 79
6. Morgenthau's Mistaken Celebration of Lincoln's Statism 87
7. "Things That Are Not" and -Things That Are 89
8. Exile from the "King's Chapel" 96
9. "Our Military-Industrial Addiction": Kennan's 1984 Reformulation of American Diplomacy 106
10. Social Science and Moral Argument 110
Table 4: Morgenthau's, Niebuhr's, and Kennan's Realisms and Democratic Internationalism 112
Chapter Three "Workers of the World, Unite!": The Possibility of Democratic Feedback 121
1. Global Inequalities and Domestic Repression 121
2. Marx's First Version of Democratic Internationalism: The Revolution of 1848 124
3. The Heroism of the English Workers: Abolition versus Cotton 127
4. International Strike Support 130
S. The Sepoy Rebellion and English Dissensions 131
6. Marx's Second Version of Democratic Internationalism: Ireland as the Key to English Radicalism 133
7. Contemporary Implications I: Algeria, Mozambique, and Rebellion inside the Colonial Power 137
8. Contemporary Implications II: Immigration in California and Europe, and International Redistribution 139
9. The Economic, Social, and Political Consequences of Exploitation 142
Table 5: A Contrast of Democratic and Antidemocratic Feedback 146
Chapter Four Democratic Imperialism and Internal Corruption 148
1. American Political "Science" and Athenian Democracy 148
2. Integrity and Democracy: Thucydides versus Hobbes 1 152
3. Socrates', Thucydides', and Hobbes's Differing Responses to Hubris 156
4. Hobbes against Athens 159
5. Official "Realism" as Corruption: Thucydides versus Hobbes 11 161
6. The Official Realist Misinterpretation of Melos 167
7. War between Democracies: The Syracusan Defeat of Athens 170
8. Thucydides through the Lens of Vietnam 172
Table 6: Why Democracy and Public Corruption Are Central for Thucydides and Anomalies for Hobbes and Neorealism 176
Chapter Five Deliberation as a Medium for Internationalism 183
1. Internationalism versus Pluralism 183
2. The Narrowing of American Oligarchy 186
3. Democratic Deliberation and Moral Controversy 187
4. Conscience and the Limits of Public Deliberation 189
S. Experiments in Nonviolence 192
6. Civil Disobedience, Referenda and Abolition of Secret Police 194
7. The Fair Value of Liberty 200
8. Globalization and Cosmopolis 205
9. Iraq, "Monicagate," and Secretary Annan 213
10. The Abolition of War 216
11. Revolution in a World without War 217
12. Won't Leadership in a Democratic Movement Eventually Become Problematic? 219
13. A Democratic Realist Criticism and an Internationalist Rejoinder 220
14. The Erosion of Reform and Democratic Movements 221
Notes 223
Bibliography 279
Index 295

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